CHICAGO — — There is no secret to Lonzo Ball‘s improved 3-point shooting. He put the work in, and it’s paying off.
He has come a long way from long distance.
“It’s night and day now,” he said.
Ball made seven of Chicago’s 15 3-pointers and Zach LaVine scored 23 points, powering the Bulls to a 117-107 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.
Ball went 7 for 10 from deep and finished with 21 points. He is shooting 44.7% from beyond the arc in his first year with the Bulls, continuing his steady rise from shooting 30.5% from 3 during his rookie season in 2017-18 with the Lakers.
“He deserves a lot of credit,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “He’s put in an incredible amount of work to get himself to that level.”
Five players scored in double figures for Chicago during its second consecutive victory. Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan finished with 17 points.
Dallas had won three straight and four of five overall, but couldn’t keep up with LaVine and Chicago in the second half. Kristaps Porzingis had 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Mavericks, and Luka Doncic finished with 20 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.
“I should take better shots,” said Doncic, who was 6 for 18 from the field. “I know I always say this, but honestly, I’ve got to do it, not just say it. I’ve got to be better.”
Dallas trailed by seven in the third quarter before Doncic wrapped the ball around his back and then lobbed to Dwight Powell for a jam over Vucevic with 3:29 left. The play drew an “ooohhh” from the United Center crowd of 20,910, but the rest of the period belonged to Chicago.
Alex Caruso converted a three-point play and made a jumper to give the Bulls a 95-80 lead after three. The reserve guard finished with 16 points on 6-for-7 shooting.
“I just tried to be aggressive when I had the ball and shots went in,” Caruso said.
Chicago was never seriously threatened in the fourth, and LaVine punctuated the win when he got an overhead pass from Ball and finished a 360-degree dunk with 1:50 remaining.
“The Bulls are back, man. That’s all I can say,” said Tim Hardaway Jr., who scored 21 points for Dallas.
Doncic’s free throw gave the Mavericks a 51-48 lead with 4:46 left in the second quarter, but the Bulls closed the first half with a 13-3 run. LaVine opened the spurt with a 3-pointer and a dunk.
“Right there before half, with two minutes left, they went on a run, and we just couldn’t recover from that,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said.
Mavericks: F Maxi Kleber (left oblique strain) missed his fifth straight game. Kidd said Kleber is doing better. “I don’t think we’ve got to the seven- or 10-day mark yet,” Kidd said. “But once we get there, I think I can give you a better update.”
Bulls: G Coby White (offseason left shoulder surgery) practiced with the team’s G League affiliate Tuesday. Donovan said White will have another workout on Thursday. “If things progress we’re hopeful at some point maybe on that West Coast swing that he’d be available to play,” Donovan said. The Bulls open a five-game trip at Golden State on Friday night. … F Patrick Williams (left wrist) will not travel with the team on its upcoming road trip, Donovan said.
Mavericks: At the San Antonio Spurs on Friday for their third meeting already this season. The Mavericks took the first two, winning 104-99 on Oct. 28 and 109-108 last week.
Bulls: At Golden State on Friday night. The Bulls have dropped eight in a row against the Warriors.
Tripadvisor disclosed in a recent statement that 50% of respondents for its latest survey said they’re planning a trip for this spring. The CDC does recommend avoiding air travel when unnecessary, and many of these destinations may be a bit too far. However, there’s always the option to rent an RV for some locations.
Here are Tripadvisor’s 25 most popular U.S. travel destinations for 2021:
Covid willing, we’ll be heading to Kyrgyzstan. It’s at that perfect point where the infrastructure supports a great travel experience, but it’s not become spoiled by tourists. Bishkek is modern and vibrant, and in the stunning rural areas it’s possible to stay with nomads living the traditional life. It’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with delicious locally sourced food. Kyrgyz community-based tourism proved an affordable way to experience the life of horse-riding nomads living in yurts, and the money goes into the community itself. Minnie Martin
Where the map takes us, Wester Ross
The west coast of Scotland is our wild goal. During the neverending house tidy of 2020, we found the Gairloch & Ullapool area OS map and pored over it – a bit of geography home learning for my son, who liked the wriggly contour lines and the consonant-heavy names of the lochs and mountains. We’ll take the high road to Gairloch to see orca and minke (Hebridean Whale Cruises, £64 adult, £35 child), stay in a wooden wigwam at Sands campsite (from £52pp), and walk to the beach humming the Skye boat song. Nancy Gladstone
Island dream, Lundy
My son, daughter and I have been making lists of where we want to go since the first lockdown. We’ve booked a few days on Lundy for next August in the hope that it will be safe to travel again by then. It only involves a five-hour drive to Ilfracombe, Devon, and then a couple of hours on HMS Oldenburg (which for my three-year-old boy will be the holiday made before we even get there). We’ll stay in Castle Cottage, in the keep of a castle built by Henry III in 1250. There’s nothing to do but explore cliffs, beaches and lighthouses, and look for the crashed bomber plane in the heather. And there’s no internet. Kate Attrill
All a-Twitter for York
I’d love to go to York and visit the Yorkshire Museum as their wonderful tweets – mainly about odd or mysterious items in their collection – have kept me entertained and brought history alive this year. A pint or two in the city’s ancient pubs and a wander home to characterful lodgings would just cap a cultural visit off nicely! Liz
Mind-Boggling Whitby, North Yorkshire
Low cost and close to home, a stay with the YHA at Boggle Hole is always a welcome relief. A converted watermill with a reception, bar and cosy sitting room complete with a log fire and leather couches, it’s in a pebbled cove overlooking the sea, with wooded cliffs on either side. Go in spring or early autumn and the prices are as low as £29 a night. Walk across the sandy beach to Robin Hoods Bay or over the jagged cliffs to Ravenscar to see the seals. Safiya El-Gindy
I long for the wide expansiveness of Glasgow boulevards: west-facing, bathed in the golden glow of light glancing off sandstone. I long for the cobbled alleyways, armpit-piled bookshops, curiosity shops crammed with treasure; and also the glitzy, glassy, high street emporiums filled with unafforded luxuries. I long for views of the university, the Campsie Fells, the high flats, the rivers snaking through. And the tearooms, pubs, gastropubs, curry houses, Asian street food haunts, delis and restaraunts high end and greasy spoon. It’s only two hours away but has been impossibly out of reach. I long for full immersion, to be sated by all its gritty, impossibly romantic, unabashed grandeur. Fiona
Simply sublime, Cotswolds Way
In 2021 I want to carry on enjoying the benefits of the simple pleasures of travelling that 2020 led us to – like walking and talking. I want to walk the Cotswolds Way from Broadway to Bath, breathing in fresh air, wondering at big skies, scanning rolling hills in the distance while getting fitter without going to gyms or swimming in chlorinated pools or using mobile apps. Its 120 miles should take about a week, staying in village pubs along the way. Travel, like life, should be about connecting reality to your imagination by inspiration, which can come in the purest, most simple of forms. Nick
My dream is to fulfil a Covid-delayed bucket-list trip to see the ultimate sporting underdog story, and take my football-crazy nine-year-old on a once-in-a-lifetime trip. We will be travelling to see the Faroe Islands play an international match on home turf. They’re due to play Scotland on 12 October in a World Cup qualifier. Fly into the capital, Torshavn, and you can walk to the stadium. Hire a car for the full Faroes experience: it’s the bird-watching capital of Europe. Hotel Streym in Torshavn has Atlantic views and doubles from £90. John Connolly
Harvest festival with a difference, Ukraine
It will take the best part of a day and a half but here’s my plan: a few buses, some trains and a flight from my home in the Ribble valley to Ukraine, crossing the Polish border at Przemyśl. I’m expecting Lviv to be “bruised but not broken” as the Ray Davies song goes, with coffee, cake and varenyky (dumpling) culture still largely intact. I plan to go in August for the Saviour of the Apple feast, an Eastern Orthodox celebration of harvest. The reason for going is not necessarily the destination or the festival but the sweet joy of a long journey to a foreign land and interaction with strangers at long last. Martin Charlesworth
Totally ore-some, Mauritania
For 2021, I want to travel somewhere that is remote with low population density and gives me an adrenaline rush. After a bit of research, I’ve chosen to go on the iron ore train in Mauritania. The 700km journey on a cargo train from the north of the country to the west coast takes around 34 hours. This train is among the world’s longest and heaviest and riding it is totally free. From time to time, I look at the photos and videos of the journey on the internet and instantly get goosebumps. See for yourself. It’s total madness. Venkata K C Tata
Silk Road: Samarkand to Baku
As we enter 2021 with unbridled hope and optimism for a better year filled with limitless freedom and a vaccinated global population, never have I wanted more to return to completing my journey of the Silk Road, started in 2019. Beginning in Xi’an and Kashgar, China, I headed west to Almaty, Kazakhstan, before crossing over into Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. My trip allowed just enough time to reach dazzling Samarkand in Uzbekistan. My trip ended at the Shah-i-Zinda necropolis, a breathtaking marvel from which I hope to restart my adventure in 2021. My aim is to reach Tehran, from where I will return to Baku, one of my favourite cities, for a deserved cup of coffee. Scott Strachan
Mountain overload, Georgia
I want to be overwhelmed by Georgia’s Kazbegi region again. I want to get so exhausted by marvellous hikes – where I will not meet a soul – that the next day will be spent on a balcony with a book that gets little attention because the mountains take my breath away. I will only leave that balcony to eat terrific vegetarian Georgian food, with the same view. That balcony I left and want to return to is at Rooms Hotel, where doubles go for $100 – steep by Georgian standards but worth it and not as steep as those mountain slopes. Franka Hummels